Padres keep focus up middle with comp picks

Padres keep focus up middle with comp picks

Padres keep focus up middle with comp picks
SAN DIEGO -- There was a common theme to the Padres' first five picks of the First-Year Player Draft on Monday -- strong up the middle.

They selected a second baseman, a shortstop, a catcher and two high school pitchers.

"We want to make an impact in the middle of the diamond," Padres general manager Jed Hoyer said.

After picking second baseman Cory Spangenberg out of Indian River State College with their 10th overall pick and right-handed pitcher Joe Ross out of Bishop O'Dowd High in Oakland with the 25th overall pick, the team used their three remaining picks in the compensation round on a shortstop, catcher and a high school pitcher.

With the 48th overall pick, the Padres selected right-handed pitcher Michael Kelly out of West Boca Raton Community High in Florida. Kelly was recommended by the same scout -- Willie Bosque -- who recommended Spangenberg.

The Padres used the No. 54 overall pick on catcher Brett Austin, who is from Providence High in North Carolina. Austin is a switch-hitter whom the Padres feel has a good chance to stay behind the plate.

Finally, with the 58th overall pick of the Draft, the Padres picked shortstop Jace Peterson out of McNeese State. Peterson hit .335 this season with 67 runs scored for the Cowboys.

"He's an athlete who can really run," Padres assistant general manager Jason McLeod said of Peterson, who was also a cornerback for McNeese State.

The Padres had the three compensation-round picks after free agents Jon Garland, Kevin Correia and Yorvit Torrealba signed elsewhere during the offseason.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.